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Kathakali is an ancient and classical dance drama with an act of devotion featuring universal struggle between good and evil. With the years of pedagogy, the dance form employs choreography face and hand gestures, depicting the Indian forklore.

The symbolism of Kathakali is makeup and headgears followed with vivid costumes worn by various characters and requires a lot of diligence. Kathakali, an unearthly and fantastic facet which transform the whole dance into thing of another world; include exemplifies folk mythologies, religious legends, and spiritual ideas of Hindu epics.

The storytelling form of the art, excellent footwork and impressive gestures of face and hands complimented with music and vocal performance makes the dance form special. Intricate and vivid make-up, unique face masks and costumes along with unmatchable style and movements reflects the age-old martial arts and athletic conventions prevalent in Kerala and surrounding regions. Traditionally, it is performed by male dancers.


The classical dance form of Kerala, Mohiniyattam, finds its roots in Hindu Mythology. The undulating movements depict the dance of the enchantress ‘Mohini’. She made demons fall for her oscillating dance steps, passionate eyes and graceful gestures to restore elixir. A delight for your eyes, women adorn simple, elegant gold-filigreed dress, in pure white or ivory, while performing it. This impression is perfectly paired with the lilting songs which accompany the dance. Like Kathakali, this dance form gives great importance to facial expressions and dancers have to be consummate actors to express it in its perfect form. Mohinyattam is a very stylized, feminine dance form, and was very popular during the Chera reign from 9th to 12th century.


Bharatanatyam, one of the oldest classical dance forms, is native to South India. The word ‘Bharatanatyam’ refers to a dance form where bhava, raga and tala are expressed. A form of illustrative anecdote of Hindu religious themes and spiritual ideas emoted by dancer with excellent footwork and impressive gestures its performance repertoire includes nrita, nritya and natya. The dance form is an inspiration to several art forms including paintings and sculptures across the country. It is a difficult dance form to master and requires commitment and years of practice along with irrevocable facial expressions, great acting skill, and complex foot and body movements.


Chenda, a percussion instrument, finds a special place among the various percussion art forms of Kerala. The majestic instrument widely used in almost all festivals in Kerala and is considered to be unavoidable. The player uses special sticks to beat complex rhythms on the surface of the drum. The cylindrical wooden part of the instrument is made of jackfruit tree wood, white teak wood, cassia fistula wood and sugar palm wood. The one carved out from the core of the jackfruit tree is the special one.


Kalari is probably the oldest martial art form on the planet. These martial art forms were essentially taught by Agastya Muni to start with because martial arts are not just about kicking and punching or stabbing. It’s about learning to use the body in every possible way. So it not only involves exercise and other aspects of agility, it also involves understanding the energy system.

Kalari is a special kind of gymnasium, where the martial art Kalari Payattu is practiced. Kalari is the special training in 'Marma', the art of knowing and activating all the 107 energy points in the human body. These vital points (called marmas) are used for correcting the body's energy flows and replenishing its resources. Kalari, therefore, makes the practitioner not just a warrior but a self-healer, who can also help others with his healing powers.

Kalari has its own branch of medicine based on Ayurveda, which is used to correct dislocations, body aches and injuries. Massages are combined with these techniques to increase the flexibility of the body and treat muscular ache. Though there was a decline in the popularity of Kalari in the 17th century, it is now rapidly gaining popularity in the state of Kerala.

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